Gorilla Habituation Experience
Bikyingi Gorilla group in Rushaga region in the southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was put a side for Gorilla Habituation Experience – GHE in Uganda, apparently Byikyingi group has 1 silver back, 9 adult females 2 sub adults and 9 infants. Another Gorilla group is Bushaho gorilla family.
In this experience, clients spend more time 4 hours or so with mountain gorillas compared to gorilla trekking which is restricted to only one hour.
Gorilla Habituation Experience is a process where wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to people. Gorilla Habituation Experience may take between two to three (2-3) years to be completed and during this time, researchers keep on visiting an identified Wild gorilla group on a daily basis. They get to learn more about individual gorillas and the way they behave. With time, these gorillas get used to these researchers and in the long run, each individual gorilla is given a name. Once researchers are sure that these mountain gorillas can be trekked, they then introduce a mock exercise where some few people who may include scientists, journalists start visiting it. Once such a gorilla family has passed mock exercise, then it is opened for trekking.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has about eleven habituated gorilla families which include Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura in the Northern section of the park called Buhoma, then Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro in the Eastern Part of Bwindi in Ruhija, Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Bweza, Kahungye in Rushaga and then Nkuringo Gorilla Family all in the Southern sector.
At the moment, eighty eight (88) gorilla permits are available for purchase from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Two gorilla families have been put aside for gorilla habituation experience and are located in the Nkuringo and Rushaga side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Its for this reason that gorilla habituation safaris can only be done in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Questions asked about Gorilla Habituation Experience
Cost of Gorilla Habituation Experience permit
Gorilla Habituation Experience costs USD1500 per permit
How long do you spend with gorillas during gorilla habituation experience
If you book a permit for gorilla habituation, you will allowed to spend four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. These four hours excludes the time you spend to reach the gorillas.
When does gorilla habituation experience start?
Unlike gorilla trekking which starts at 8:30 am, mountain gorilla habituation starts at 7:30am and briefing is done much earlier.
Can I do Gorilla Habituation Experience in any region of Bwindi
Gorilla habituation experience is currently possible in Rushaga located on the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It is thus not possible in Buhoma or Ruhija side of the forest. This is because currently, it is only in Rushaga that we have two mountain gorilla families being habituated as compared to other regions which do not have gorilla families under habituation. For those interested in this experience should be ready to go to the south and book accommodation closer to Rushaga since this activity requires an early start.
What is inclusive in Gorilla Habituation Experience permit
This includes rangers, researchers and spending four hours with mountain gorillas under habituation. It also includes park entrance fees for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
How different is gorilla trekking from Gorilla Habituation Experience?
– Gorilla Trekking permit costs USD 600 and you spend one hour with habituated mountain gorillas.
– Gorilla Habituation Experience permit costs USD1500 allowing you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas still under habituation. It only takes place in regions that have mountain gorillas under habituation and as of now, its only in Rushaga where new gorilla groups of Bikingi and Bushaho are under habituation.
What is the minimum age for gorilla habituation experience
The minimum age for gorilla habituation is 15 years and above and all the book guidelines are same as those for gorilla trekking. In terms of numbers, Gorilla Habituation Experience is limited to only six people